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Taiwan Church News

3272 Edition

November 10 - 16, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

Taiwan Church Press And Tainan Theological College And Seminary Are Awarded Honor Of Distinguished Religious Organization

 

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek

 

 

 

On November 6, witnessed by Mayor Lai Chin-der, Tainan City Government announces her annual award toward 82 distinguished religious organizations and 10 bet supporting district offices recommended from all walks of lives in Tainan area. Tainan Theological College and Seminary (TTCS) is awarded the Distinguished Religious Organization from Interior Ministry Department; Taiwan Church Press (TCP) receives the Distinguished Religious Organization from Tainan City Government.

 

 

The main reasons why TTCS is awarded include: establishing scholarship to encourage poor students to realize the spirit of love; holding campus tours to preserve homeland historic sites and visions; holding community musical concert to inspire community youth.

 

 

Taiwan Church Press is awarded due to her influential and manifold news stories by Taiwan Church News, covering ecclesiastic and social welfare issues, especially focusing on up-to-date events, the oppressed and marginalized, social justice and environmental issues.

 

 

Rev. Tsai Cheng-dow, Chairman of Taiwan Church Press, receives this award from Mayor Lai Chin-der. Another two Christian churches are also awarded the honor of distinguished religious organization: they are Mei-hou Church and Cheng-kong Church.

 

 

Rev. Fan Lang-ting, President of Taiwan Church Press, affirms this prize can be awarded to Christian institutes in Tainan. This means, he says, the church ministry is evidently effective within our city. But, reminds Rev. Fang, the vision of church requires to be more revolutionary than this secular award. Someday, he wishes, PCT could raise an honorable award to evaluate the secular governments!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Rev. Tsai Cheng-dow, Chairman of Taiwan Church Press, receives the Distinguished Religious Organization award from Tainan City Mayor Lai Chin-der on November 6, 2014.

 

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek


 
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Taiwan Church News

3272 Edition

November 10 - 16, 2014

Headline News

 

 

"Restore The Names Of Our Lands! Shame On Any Political Persecution From The Government!", ATIPP and Aboriginal Groups Protest Against Taiwan's National Police Agency Ministry

 

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

 

At 10:00 am on November 6, members of the Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples' Policy(ATIPP) together with several aboriginal civil groups, hold a press conference before National Police Agency Ministry of the Interior Department, protesting the politically implicated persecutions from Fong-lin police station and Hua-lien District Prosecutors Office for a graffiti paint in the early morning on October 19 asking for restoring the names of the aboriginal lands.

 

 

Accompanied by the volunteer lawyer from Judicial Reform Foundation(JRF), Ms Nakao Eki Pacidal, the protagonist of this paint graffiti, who is the former President of 02 Club in National Cheng Kong University(NCKU) and also a PCT youth, expresses sentimentally during the angry protest: I am sorry for I can only spray paints to restore our land's name, without tearing down the official plate of "Guangfu Township"!

 

 

Appealing to restore the aboriginal name to her home town, Ms Nakao Eki Pacidal went together with members of the Association of Fata'an and Tafalong, spraying slogans before the front gate of Guangfu Township Office of Hua-lien County in the early morning on October 19. The graffiti paints read: "Land Is Our Country", "Whose Guangfu(ie. retrocession)? Naming should be compliant to its Master!" and a binding spell of two tribes "Tafalong - Fata'an".

 

 

Rev. Omi Wilang, Secretary of PCT Indigenous Ministry Committee and also the representative of Indigenous Peoples Action Coalition of Taiwan(IPACT), strongly condemns the following political persecution filed from both Fong-lin police station and Hua-lien District Prosecutors Office toward the tribe members supporting the Association of Fata'an and Tafalong. "Guangfu Town?! This name has ever been discussed with the aboriginal local tribes. Not mention to be accepted with nods!".

 

 

Rev. Mayau Kumud, pastor of West-Amis Presbytery, who had been put in prison for his political campaign for restoring the aboriginal names on lands, passionately urged his Amis tribe fellows: "If we can not stop the destructive stigmatization from the unrighteous regime; if we, as elders of the Amis tribe, do not have a minimum courage to turn it over, it will be a regretful shame to enlist us as Amis in future."

 

 

Mr Lin San-jia, a volunteer lawyer from JRF, points out ROC government in Taiwan has the obligation to restore the aboriginal names to the restored lands according to The Indigenous Peoples Basic Law(IPBL). Contrasting the seemingly outrageous graffiti paints of Ms Nakao Eki Pacidal, which is actually complaint to the spirit of IPBL, many administrative measures of Ma Ying-jeou's KMT regime are obviously against national law, two most important international human rights treaties signed long ago and even the New Partnership Contract promised to the aboriginal people.

 

 

Wudu Mijian, President of ATIPP and member of PCT Tayal Presbytery, says that the Aboriginal Identity Movement to restore the aboriginal name is never a series of sporadically independent events. From the initiative of constitutional monarchy launched in June 2014 by the aboriginal civil groups, stopping the Chinese tourists group to spoil the indigenous tribal ceremony, till this graffiti painting event, all these actions from the aboriginal people call attention of the administrative power to respect their self-determination rights, substantially carry out IPBL and realize the ideal of transitional justice as early as possible.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 

The Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples' Policy(ATIPP) together with several aboriginal civil groups, hold a press conference before National Police Agency Ministry of the Interior Department, at 10:00 am on November 6, 2014, Taipei, protesting politically implicated persecutions from Fong-lin police station and Hua-lien District Prosecutors Office for a graffiti paint in the early morning on October 19 asking for restoring the names of the aboriginal lands.

 

 

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3271 Edition

Nov 3 - Nov 9, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

 

PCT Pastor Rev. Wang Inn-hse Is Granted The 10th Kamalan Award

 

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

 

A very prestigious honor, the Kamalan Award founded by Young Sun Culture & Education Foundation since 1991 and dedicated to persons or groups making an influential contribution to Yi-lan area at north-eastern Taiwan, is decided to present her 10th award on Nov 1st 2014 to PCT retired pastor, Rev. Wang Inn-hse, who has started his ministry from building Dong-shan church since 1953 and carried on planting seven other churches in aboriginal tribes till 1957.


 

After devoting his next 35 years into Christian education in Presbyterian Bible College at Hsin-chu, Rev. Wang returned back to serve as pastor of Lou-dong church and pioneered the Pine Age University education in eastern Taiwan. And this community-based university became the first adult education system in Yi-lan area, benefiting hundreds of elder people.


 

In the meantime, Rev. Wang also cared for the prisoners in a long period of time. He always gave psychological counsel or substantial support to help the prisoners starting their lives again after they finished their terms. He had been awarded the Exemplary Father by Yi-lan County Government; he and his wife was once elected as "National Marriage Couple".

 

 

During the reception ceremony of Kamalan Award , Rev. Wang specially expresses his gratitude to Dr. Chen Wu-fu, who is dubbed as "Taiwan's Schweitzer" and having always shown great support to him and his ministry. Rev. Wang thanks his wife, Rev. Kuo Lily, supporting him in all kinds of challenges. And he thanks all his friends and co-workers, accompanying himself to strive for God's mission. Finally, he said, "Thank God for giving me this blessing and privilege to serve Yi-lan this beautiful land!".

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. Wang Inn-hse, winner of the 10th Kamalan Award, is renown and recommended for his life-long contributions in adult education, church ministry, aboriginal tribe service, prisoner counselling and guidance and etc.

 

Photo by Wang Jung-chan


 
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Taiwan Church News

3271 Edition

November 3 - 9, 2014

Church Ministry News

 

 

Common Taiwanese Bible Association Is Officially Launched!

 

 

Reported by Tâng Hûi-siok

 

 

On November 1, Common Taiwanese Bible Association(CTBA) is officially launched at the International Conference Hall of Siongim Complex in Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS). Particularly, Rev. Siau Chin-fen, former TTCS President (1973 - 1986), flies back from United States to host this initiating conference. Rev. Wang Chong-giau, current TTCS President, also takes part in this assembly and give his blessing and prayer for CTBA.

 

 

Rev. Siau said the reason why he would takes the long distance flight back to join this conference, not because he has too much leisure time, but he has the enthusiastic heart to promote this movement. Then, he expresses his deep appreciation to Elder John Lai, who hosts a very famous website Elder John Lai's Archives about Taiwan church history, for his big support of CTBA. He also encourages the audience to work harder, as this is an uneasy job in Taiwan society at present.

 

 

Rev. Chen Chu-sien, author of Taiwan Colloquial Idiom Dictionary, points out that the Taiwanese language could play her role not only as a daily lives language, but also as an academic one. He takes as examples his own writings and publication in Taiwanese, encouraging the audience to march forward and boost each other.

 

 

Rev. Shih Lien-chen, former Moderator of PCT General Assembly, comments that language is culture; if a language vanishes, the related culture may disappear as well. He hope through the promotion movement and publications of CTBA, Taiwan church could treasure our culture of mother tongue.

 

 

Finally, Elder Lim Chum-yok, who has made great efforts to initiate and organize CTBA, expresses his appreciation for the support and concern of the participating members. Prof Jiang Wei-wen and Prof Ho Hsin-han, they both humbly wish their attendance would be beneficial to the succession of the Taiwanese language.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3271 Edition

November 3 - 9, 2014

Headline News

 

 

PCT, Local Residents And Civil Groups Protest Against Daan Matsu Cultural Park To Locate In Greater Taichung City

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

 

Even though many civil groups have publicly protested many times, warning Taichung City Government(TCG) would waste taxpayers' money at NTD 1.2 billion(about USD 40 millions) dollars to build an illegal and unnecessary Daan Matsu Cultural Park(DMCP), an opening ceremony of this park building project is still arranged to hold on November 1, in spite of the public's suspicion about buying vote for the campaigning Mayor Jason Hu, breaching the constitutional stipulation on religion equality and escaping environmental impact assessment.

 

 

Outside the opening ceremony of DMCP site, local residents and several civil groups demonstrate their angers - "Kidnap Matsu, Escape Environmental Impact Assessment!" - with their placards. But, Mayor Jason Hu obviously won't pay any attention to their appeals. In addition, Rev. Wang Jin-chai, Director of Church and Society Committee of PCT Taichung Presbytery and environmental lawyer Ko Le-jen are barred by police force from entering into the protection site.

 

 

Rev. Wang Jin-chai laments that the anti-DMCP statements, signed by more than 4000 Taichung citizens one by one, were sent to Mayor Hu in the end 0f May, 2014, yet still without any response from him. Rev. Wang reiterates the project of building DMCP has breached the constitution, which stipulates the government should treat all religions equal, and should not encourage or limit the particular religion. Therefore, says Rev. Wang, the government should spend the taxpayers' money on the social welfare or infra-structures beneficial to all citizens, but not particular religion or party.

 

 

Lawyer Ko Le-jen remarks that, as the commissioned legal agent for PCT Taichung Presbytery, she has officially submitted the citizen advise, with the concurrent signature from many civil groups like Matsu's Fish Conservation Union, Taiwan Academy of Ecology and etc., asking TCG to stop construction of DMCP immediately. If this request is not responded from TCG within due date, the lawsuit of executive accusation would be launched automatically. Rev. Wang also wish this problem  constitutional breach could be exposed through righteous legal process, as he believes: "Righteousness exalts the nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people"(Proverb 14:30).

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Outside the opening ceremony of Daan Matsu Cultural Park site, local residents and several civil groups demonstrate their angers - "Kidnap Matsu, Escape Environmental Impact Assessment!" - with their placards. As this construction project is suspectable to breach the constitution clause of treating religion equal.

 

Photo by Simon Lin

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3270 Edition

October 27 - November 2, 2014

Church Ministry

 

 

Let Kaurna and Siraya Be Spoken!  A Seminar On The Language Revitalization Of The Australian Aboriginal Kuarna Language Is Kicked Off To Share Experiences With Taiwan's Aboriginal Tribe

 

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek

 

 

On October 27, a historic seminar of the language revitalization of the Australian aboriginal Kaurna language, is held at Kou-bei elementary school, Tainan. This event is organized by Siraya Culture Association(SCA) and supported by Department of Taiwan Literature of National Cheng Kung University(NCKU), Association for Taiwanese and Vietnamese Cultural Exchange(ATVCE) and Taiwanese Romanization Association(TRA).


 

Dr. Rob Amery and Dr. Mary-Anne Gale, who are a couple and both serve in Adelaide University leading the research project to revitalize the Gaurna and Ngarrindjeri aboriginal language respectively, are invited to address in this international seminar and share their experiences at their field work.

 

 

Before starting the seminar, a local tour to learn something about Siraya culture is arranged: Rev. Lee Hsiau-chung, pastor of Kou-bei Presbyterian Church, welcomes the arrival of the Amery couple and briefly introduce how the church engage in the process of revitalizing the Siraya language. Students of Kou-bei elementary school perform some Siraya folk songs to greet their visitors and communicate with the Amery to show how Siraya language revitalization goes. And then, several tribes, like Green Valley Siraya, Taizuma and Jiucengling, are visited by the Amery via inspecting tribal architectures, photographs and antiques, to learn further about the history, Alid Tsoo faith and current living conditions of the Siraya people.

 

 

The reason, why the Amery are invited to address their experiences in language revitalization of the Australian aboriginal languages - Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri, is due to their early start in 1990s. It is about 10 tears earlier than the revitalization of the Siraya language. Wan Su-juen, President of SCA, remarks that the precious experience of the Amery in the language revitalization for the Australian aboriginal tribes could help Taiwanese aboriginal people to find solutions during similar challenges. Wan traces the initialization of Siraya writing up to Rev. Georgius Candidius, a Dutch pastor stationed in Formosa between 1627 and 1631, who translated the Matthew Gospel and a catechism into Siraya, and complied a formulary. All these becomes the important reference material to revitalize Siraya language.

 

 

Not incidentally, Rob Amery responds that the documents left by the missionaries are also very indispensable during his field work and revitalization of Kaurna language. Just like Siraya before revitalization, Rob explains, Kaurna only has written records but no sound system to identify. It became a very difficult problem to know the correct pronunciation. So, many techniques were tried to restore the Kaurna language system: new words were created, not only by comparing the languages of the neighboring tribes, but also by borrowing or synthesizing from other words.

 


 

Rob Amery said, "Speaking tribal language is totally different from speaking the official language, people can feel the difference from the bottom of their heart." Rob stresses the importance of aboriginal lyrics in the process of language revitalization. He also organizes workshop to collect how people talk within their family relationships and translate them into tribal languages in order to imbuing old language with a rich vocabularies of daily lives. Over the past 25 years, more than 10,000 Australian students had learned the aboriginal languages at some extent. And more and more school wish to open the course on aboriginal languages. Yet, the insufficiency of teachers is always the problem.

 

 

Another method to make the aboriginal language popular is to restore the aboriginal name in naming administration district, city park, transportation system, even the art in public plaza. Just like people can use the old Siraya name, Tah Bah Kan, to rename Shihua district, and it would trigger lots of creative action in language revitalization, explained by the interpreter Mr. Ou Cheng-lian.

 

 

The Ngarrindjeri language, explains Mary-Anne Gale, has less power to revitalize and restore because the Ngarrindjeri tribe locates in more rural area and lack of adequate political support. In the beginning of her linguistic field work, only 500 words could be collected. Now it has reached 3,700 words and could be compiled as a dictionary. But, Gale reminds the audience that the thoughts of linguistic scholars are sometimes different from the tribal elders. In addition, some historical documents could go wrong, so the job of language revitalization has to be very careful!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Dr. Rob Amery and Dr. Mary-Anne Gale, experts of aboriginal linguistics and distinguished professors from The University of Adelaide, Australia, are invited by Siraya Culture Association at Tainan, Taiwan, to share their experiences of language revitalization of Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri aboriginal tribes in Australia on October 27, 2014.

 

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek


 
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